Panthers down LaGrange at home, 85-68

Larry Thomas (photo courtesy of Larry Radloff, d3photography.com)
Larry Thomas (photo courtesy of Larry Radloff, d3photography.com)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Led by senior Larry Thomas with 21 points, the Birmingham-Southern men's basketball team moved to 2-0 on the young season with an 85-68 victory against LaGrange College, Sunday evening in the final game of the Black Tie Classic, hosted by BSC in Bill Battle Coliseum.

LaGrange moved to 1-1 after defeating College of Faith Saturday evening in overtime, 104-100.

LaGrange led for much of the first half of the game, jumping out to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes. At the 10:24 mark, LaGrange led 25-18 before BSC put together a 13-2 run over the next four minutes to take over the lead, 31-27, and went up by as much as five, 35-30, with 3:44 remaining in the half. LaGrange battled back, though, and the teams played to three straight ties after that, including a 41-41 score at halftime.

The opening minutes of the second half went back and forth between the teams before BSC started to pull away. After a 49-46 LaGrange lead early, BSC scored 12 unanswered points to pull up by nine, 58-49, and kept the lead the rest of the way. LaGrange was able to cut it back to five, 67-62, with 8:13 left, but BSC responded with another run, scoring 10 unanswered to pull ahead by 15, 77-62, with just over six minutes left. The home Panthers held onto a double-digit lead after that and built up to their biggest lead, 85-68, by the final buzzer.

Thomas was 6-9 from the field and 7-8 at the free throw line for 21 points, and also led all players with nine of BSC's 36 rebounds. Junior Ross Welch was also in double digits with 16 points on 5-10 shooting. Sophomore Ian Thom had three assists, and Thomas had three blocks.

Braxton Ford led three LaGrange players in double digits with 18 points.

The Panthers are at home again this Thursday, Nov. 20, hosting in-state rival Huntingdon at 7 p.m. The women will also face Huntingdon at 5 p.m., with both teams hosting an Autism Awareness event during the games.